Mac to face No. 1 Eagles on Wednesday

By Steve Sell
November 07, 2016

Oklahoma Wesleyan is the new kid on the block in the KCAC.

The Eagles joined the conference last year and made an immediate impact in men’s soccer.

They currently are the No. 1-ranked team in the nation, which means they are also the No. 1 seed in the KCAC Postseason Tournament.

By virtue of a 3-2 victory Saturday over Bethany, the McPherson College Bulldogs get their chance Wednesday to be a giant slayer.

The teams meet in the KCAC semifinals in Bartlesville and few are probably giving the Bulldogs a chance.

But before the Eagles came along, Mac and Kansas Wesleyan were the reigning powers and the Bulldogs certainly have been in enough big games to put up a fight. When the teams met earlier this year, the Eagles were a 3-1 winner.

“First, it's important for us to get out of the gate better,” said Mac coach Doug Quint, whose team is a nifty 13-4-2 this season compared to 18-0-1 for the Eagles, with the tie coming against John Brown University. “OKWU has scored in the first 10 minutes of 12 games this year. Second, is we must limit their set-piece opportunities and defend them better when we do concede them. Don't get me wrong they are a complete team that can score on you in a variety of ways, but if we do these two things I really believe at the end of the game we will have a chance to force a result.”

The Eagles have not had a close match since Oct. 8 when second-division KCAC team Saint Mary played them within 2-1. Bethany College is the only team to score two goals against them as Wesleyan has given up just six goals in its 19 games.

McPherson College is led in scoring by McPherson High grad Nick Torres, who has a team-high 13 goals and is tied for the team assist lead with Chris Kelly with 8. David Mwinga is the second-top goal-scorer with 8.

The winner of this 7 p.m. game will play the winner of Friends and Kansas Wesleyan, which meet in Salina, for the championship.